I’m building a house in a new development. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far.

The Homely Team
floor plans laid on white marble benchtop with laptop, coffee, notebook.
3 min read

We talked to our Backend Dev, Jack, about his recent experience with kicking off a new build. Keep reading for Jack’s top tips when building a house in a new development!

floor plans laid on white marble benchtop with laptop, coffee, notebook.

Jack – Backend Developer at Homely – Melbourne Team.

My partner and I love looking at and critiquing houses. We’ve watched countless episodes of House Hunters, screaming at their poor decisions every time – the natural thing to do when you’ve never bought, renovated or built a house yourself. After years of renting and saving, we were recently, finally ready to buy our own place. After a bit of research, we discovered that it was much cheaper to build new than to buy an established home in our area. The more we looked into building, the more it felt like the right option for us – so we committed! It’s given us the opportunity to choose exactly what we want, without having to find a place that magically meets our vision and (apparently very specific) criteria.

1. If you think you know what you want, think again.

We were so caught up with what we thought we wanted, we nearly passed our dream plan! While talking to the representative, we were pointed to a floor plan that we had previously ignored, which had all of the things we wanted for our home as standard options – giving our dream plan a much better price tag than the plan we thought we had our hearts set on. So, my take away advice from that is to look at all your options, even if you don’t think you’ll like it.


2. Look at as many homes as humanly possible.

View the same display homes and other open homes multiple times if you can. I’ve changed my thoughts on so many house features the last few weeks simply after seeing a range of what’s out there and having the ability to compare. We also opted to view the same property a second time before meeting with the representative so that our ideas and questions were fresh in our minds. We also took time to view other homes in the meantime, so we had things we liked about each house that we were able to discuss and ultimately include in the package we chose.


3. Find a builder that understands your vision and needs. 

The attitude of the builder you choose matters a lot. One rep told us that what we wanted was unnecessary and no one would possibly need it. A competitor in the display unit next door then happily offered all of the changes we wanted as a standard option to a similar floor plan. 

The builder that we chose approached our ideas from the perspective of “what can we do for your needs?” and indulged in what others deemed our ‘over imaginative’ ideas, actively working with us to make sure our requirements were met. Having someone that is willing to listen and engage effectively with your ideas helps build a lot of confidence when you’re building your dream home.


4. Details matter: what you see in the display home isn’t necessarily the ‘standard’ you’re buying. 

Display homes aren’t always the same as the ‘standard build’. Confusing, right? They can be a mix and match of different standard options and sometimes have things that don’t come as standard, or a standard option. So my best advice here is to double check everything and always ask questions.

In summary, building our own home has been intense, but empowering. It’s great to be able to pick and choose the things that we feel will make our house a home. It’s also amazing to be able to build this with my partner – we genuinely feel like we are creating something special for our family. It is a time consuming process but one that I’m enjoying. I can’t wait to see the final result!

Home rendering home and land package on homely

If you’ve had an experience with building in a development, tell us about your experience on socials!


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The Homely Team
The Homely Team bring you the latest in Aus property ranging from tips on buying, selling, renting, investing, building, moving house, suburb information and agent advice, all from industry experts.

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